River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo is ‘ready and prepared’ to take the helm at Barcelona, according to former player Rivaldo.
“Gallardo is prepared to coach Barcelona,” Rivaldo told Betfair, as cited by alairelibre.cl.
“His work at River Plate is still fantastic. He won the Copa Libertadores with them last year. He is ready to take on a challenge like going to Europe and training a great team like Barcelona.”
It follows comments from former Boca Juniors and Chile boss Claudio Borghi, who was cited is cited as saying by Diario AS: “Gallardo is going to coach Barcelona in December.”
South American football writer Tim Vickery, writing in ESPN FC last month, argued that the Argentine – who will coach his side in the Copa Libertadores final against Flamengo this month – is the ideal replacement for Valverde at the Camp Nou due to his coaching methods.
The report cites comments from current Man City boss Pep Guardiola – formerly of the Blaugrana – made earlier in October.
“What Gallardo has done with River is incredible,” Guardiola told TNT Sports in Argentina.
“Some things are inexplicable. Every year three coaches are named as the best in the world, and he's never among them. I can't understand it. It's as if there's nothing else in the world apart from Europe.”
Earlier last month, Diario AS cited reports from Argentine media outlet TNT Sports that the Coach – who led River Plate to the Copa Libertadores title in Madrid against fierce rivals Boca Juniors last year – would be first choice at the Camp Nou.
Valverde’s position has come under scrutiny in recent times, especially after their traumatic Champions League exit at Liverpool last season followed by the Copa del Rey final defeat against Valencia.
The Blaugrana have made a slow start to the season with any bad run of results once more focusing the spotlight on Valverde’s future.
Gallardo played in Europe for both Monaco and PSG in between playing spells at the Buenos Aires club and won 44 caps for the Argentine national side during his career.
He currently has a contract with River up until 2021.